An Investigation of the Contingent Relationships Between Learning Community Participation and Student Engagement

Gary R. Pike, George D Kuh, Alexander C. McCormick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined the contingent relationships between learning community participation and student engagement in educational activities inside and outside the classroom using data from the 2004 administration of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Results indicated that learning community participation was positively and significantly related to student engagement, both for first-year students and seniors. For some types of engagement, relationships were significantly stronger for seniors than for first-year students. Analyses also revealed there was substantial variability across institutions in the magnitude of the relationships between learning community participation and first-year students' levels of engagement. Although institutional characteristics accounted for some of the variability across institutions, a substantial amount of the variability in engagement-learning community relationships remained unexplained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-322
Number of pages23
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2011



  • Contingent effects
  • Institutional characteristics
  • Learning communities
  • Student engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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